What is the difference between joinery and carpentry?



A lot of people often ask me 'What's the difference between joinery and carpentry?' Moreover, when you need something made of wood, do you contact a carpenter or a joiner?


 

Thing is, both have a lot in common. Joinery and carpentry are both wood-based construction trades. They do share a number of similar skills but there are differences. Understanding these differences will help you decide whether your job needs a joiner or carpenter.



What Is Joinery?

Joinery is a trade that specialises in cutting and fitting joints and wood without screws, nails or metal fasteners. Joiners rely on heavy machinery such as circular saws, lathes and sanding wheels. This machinery is not portable, so joiners do most of their work off-site in a workshop.



What is carpentry?

Carpentry is a trade that works with both wood and metal but fitting and joining them together with a variety of materials. Carpenters use portable and lightweight tools, which gives them great flexibility as to where they work. They are often found on-site, assembling and constructing structures.



By reading the above descriptions you'd think there are massive differences between a carpenter and a joiner, however, today's modern skilled woodworkers frequently flip from one role to another which means either tradesman will be able to look after your woodworking needs.